Coronavirus (CoVid-19) - Update 12 May 2020

I hope you are all staying safe and keeping fit and well in these difficult times. As you will be aware new government guidelines were announced on Monday 11 May 2020 (Gov.uk website), which will become effective on Wednesday 13 May 2020. One of these is the guidance that

you can only play singles tennis, though players can be from different households, except if you have four players from the same household in which case you can play doubles.

Last night we had a very constructive Zoom committee meeting where we focused on the logistics of getting the courts open as soon as possible. As a committee we have agreed on a number of criteria, following LTA advice. These measures and procedures are under constant review and will be updated as advice from government, health authorities and governing bodies evolves in line with the gradual lifting of social restrictions.
LTA Guidelines for Tennis Players
LTA Guidelines for Tennis Venues
Here are the current proposals and procedures for getting tennis up and running at ARTC:

Membership
We have decided to extend the membership of anyone who was a registered member of ARTC on 31.3.20, until 30.9.20 free of charge.
From 1.10.20 membership will need to be renewed for 6 months until 31.3.21 at a pro rata rate of 6/12 for the year. The annual yearly payment will then be resume from 1.4.21. This is to recognise that members will have no access to league tennis this season and a gesture of goodwill to our tennis community.
Anyone wishing to join the tennis club as a new member from the now until 30.9.20 will be charged a flat rate of adults £20, juniors £5 and families £50. Membership will then need to be renewed on 1.10.20 as above.

Booking Courts
We are introducing a compulsory on-line booking system as recommended by the LTA. This is to ensure that the club maintains accurate records of who is playing and when. This will help with contact tracing, if required. It will be necessary for any member booking a court and finding they cannot use it to ensure they cancel the booking as a courtesy to other members. Anyone repeatedly failing to do this may be subject to a penalty.
We will be using the LTA ClubSpark platform. This will allow you to book a court via our website, or using the ClubSpark Booker App on your mobile phone. To use ClubSpark you will have to register here and follow the instructions in How to register for ClubSpark.
Booking courts is a simple procedure described in these guides:
How to Book a Court using ClubSpark
How to Use the ClubSpark Booker App
If you have any problems or questions do not hesitate to get in touch.

Access to Clubhouse and Courts
The Clubhouse will remain out of bounds for the foreseeable future and members will need to plan their usage with that in mind. Net winders have been removed to minimise unnecessary contact as have seats, drag mats and brushes. Please make sure anything you bring, you take home.
Locking and unlocking the gates will require members to take responsibility for reducing transmission by using gloves and hand sanitisers on arrival and departure. You must appreciate the need for social distancing while entering and exiting the courts and wait in a socially respectful way.

  • On Court - Arriving
  • - Courts that are side by side can be used.
  • - You should enter the court one at a time.
  • - Nobody, except the players should be allowed on the court. There should be no spectators present during this phase of reopening.
  • - Parents supervising children should be limited to one.

  • On Court - Playing
  • - Physical distancing should be observed throughout the period of play, particularly on change of ends and entering and exiting the court.
  • - You should change ends at opposite sides of the net. Players must refrain from handshakes and high fives.
  • - Equipment such as towels, food, and drink must not be exchanged between players.
  • - Please bring their own hand sanitiser, drinks and towels.
  • - You should avoid touching your face after handling a ball, racquet, or other equipment.
  • - You should ideally bring a small bottle of hand sanitizer with you.
  • - You should use two sets of clearly marked tennis balls. These should be alternated for serving with each player only touching their individual tennis balls.
  • - You should use your racquet/foot to pick up balls and pass them to their opponent and should avoid using your hands to pick up the balls.
  • - You should remain apart from the other player when taking a break.
  • - If a ball from another court comes across, players should send it back with a kick or with a racquet.
  • - If a player becomes unwell after playing, they should first contact their GP/HSE and then inform the club. The club should contact the HSE and follow the advice provided to them on the next steps.

Finally…
There is a lot to take in here and you may still have queries and questions. If you do direct your enquiries to info@artc.org.uk, where we will do our best to answer them. We will also place reminders on the courts to prompt people to respect these directives.
We all know tennis is a sport for life and that playing tennis provides great mental and physical health benefits for us all. Therefore, as a club, we must ensure that tennis is only played within a safe environment – you can see the current risk assessment displayed in the clubhouse window.
Thank you for your co-operation and support in these difficult times and enjoy the chance of hitting a ball again.